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Hi curious.friend,

This week is a crack-a-jack of an email, so we'll let you dive straight in. We look at how LooWatt are revolutionising toilets in Africa and also give our curious.twist to the latest global warming research around 'Hothouse Earth.' 

And if any of your friends love environmental news filled with puns, then please share the email with them, one click is all it takes 😉

Reading time is 3:37 minutes.

Enjoy...
Tech & Innovation

Shit just got real…  Loowatt - turning poop into power!

What's Going On Here?

UK based Loowatt are turning poop into power, faeces into fertiliser and solving Madagascan human waste problems all with their new toilet technology.

Move over Thomas Crapper, the original toilet pioneer, these flushless, self-contained toilets are giving the world a fresh perspective on toilet use.

What Does This Mean?

Many Madagascan towns and villages have basic toilets. During monsoon season, heavy rainfall can leave locals literally swimming in sewage, meaning vast swathes of the population are at risk of disease and infection.

To solve this problem, Loowatt is providing hundreds of flood-resistant loos. 

To top it off... and what knocked curious.earth of our stool -  the London-based company have developed a circular system which makes use of this ‘waste’. Here’s how the process works:

The waste is sent to an anaerobic digester where gases are extracted and are used to generate electricity. Then, any of the nutrient-rich drier materials are sent to an industrial composter where they are pasteurised - killing any nasty microorganisms - before being made into fertiliser. 

Currently the fertiliser is being used to keep the Malagasy National stadium looking GREEEN! 

Why Should We Care? 

As we move towards a circular way of life - that is, recognising everything has a value and utilising that in the economy - it is becoming important to harness value from human waste.

Industry experts are forecasting that poop will soon be a traded commodity, like fuel, and waste disposal companies will look to generate income from it. 

Daniel Ratcliffe, (Poop) Engineer at Loowatt says that: "in the next 3-5 years, we expect the UK's water treatment centres to be trading sludge* between one another as they look to maximise the efficiency of electricity generation”

*Sludge is treated liquid waste

Be Curious!

Loowatt are not flush with cash and raise most of their money offering eco-toilets at festivals or private events. So if you need a loo for your party OR you see them at your next event make sure you spend a penny with them.

Learn more at www.loowatt.com
 
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Climate Change

Even if CO2 emissions slashed, we are still at risk of a 'Hothouse Earth'

What's Going On Here?

Dubbed ‘Hothouse Earth’ by scientists, new research suggests that a global temperature rise of just 2°C could result in irreversible changes to our climate. This case could leave areas of Earth completely uninhabitable.


What Does This Mean?

Our forests, oceans and land currently store huge amounts of carbon - in sea ice, permafrost, forests and glaciers. These natural feedback systems absorb carbon from the atmosphere which is pretty handy when we’re emitting so much of it!

Human activity is changing these systems - we’re destroying the Amazon rainforest, temperature rise from man-made climate change is thawing the Arctic permafrost and melting Antarctic sea ice. If one of these systems is pushed too far then we could see them starting to emit carbon rather than absorb it.

Worse still, once one of these systems (detailed on the map below) are pushed to tipping point, this could cause a domino effect and take climate change completely out of our hands.

Why Should We Care? 

This study suggests that the global Paris Agreement target of 1.5-2°C may not be enough and that a 1-3°C temperature rise could trigger an irreversible Hothouse Earth. Earth would be the hottest it’s ever been in 1.2 million years, and sea levels could rise by up to 60 metres.

But that doesn’t mean that we should stop our efforts and give up or accept defeat… Hothouse Earth isn’t inevitable and efforts to reduce carbon are already moving us towards a more ‘stable’ Earth. (Scientists behind the study are getting annoyed at defeatist media coverage!). 

Be Curious!

Hothouse Earth sounds pretty terrifying, but we shouldn’t listen to the defeatist stance taken by much of the media. Let’s take this as the push we need to reduce our carbon emissions. 

  • What can you do? This study (and handy graph) outlines the most impactful steps individuals can take to stop climate change - from car-free living to having less children!
  • Let Leonardo DiCaprio empower you with his climate film, Before The Flood, which describes the Hothouse Earth effect and shares tips on what you can do help make a difference
  • Share your best climate action tips with us on socials by tweeting us @curiousearthhq, tagging us on Instagram @curious.earth.hq and using #BeCurious (we’ll share our favourites!)
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Other news we found curious...

Kids in London’s first Mini Holland borough to live longer! - road.cc
Tesco becomes first supermarket to stock cans of water - Edie.net
We’re drowning in rubbish, but these Dutch scientists have a solution - The Washington Post 
Conrad Langridge
NEWS WRITER
Abi Aldridge
NEWS WRITER
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